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Chernobyl’s Wild Kingdom: Life in the Dead Zone

By: Rebecca L. Johnson

Scientists are studying the "Dead Zone," an area contaminated by the 1986 meltdown of a Ukrainian nuclear plant, which now teems with wildlife—radioactive wildlife. Author's note. Glossary. Source notes. Selected bibliography. Resources for further information. Index. Full-color photographs.

ISBN: 9781467711548

JLG Release: Feb 2015


Sensitive Areas: None
Topics: Chernobyl nuclear accident, 1986 , Ukraine , Radioecology , Nuclear meltdown , Japan , Genetic mutation , Animals , Animal behavior and characteristics

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Nonfiction Middle

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Awards & Honors

VOYA’s Perfect Tens 2014
2015 Cybils Awards Nomination, Young Adult Nonfiction

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, The Horn Book Guide, Kirkus Reviews*, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

In April 1986, Reactor Number 4 in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, emitting a flood of radioactive material that devastated the surrounding countryside. The residual radioactivity permeating soil, water, plants and animals led to the creation of a miles-wide Exclusion Zone closed to human residents and dubbed the Dead Zone by the press, In April 1986, Reactor Number 4 in the Chernobyl nuclear power plant exploded, emitting a flood of radioactive material that devastated the surrounding countryside. The residual radioactivity permeating soil, water, plants and animals led to the creation of a miles-wide Exclusion Zone closed to human residents and dubbed the Dead Zone by the press, the general public, and scientists alike. Scientists have continued to study the ecology of this site during the intervening years, and Johnson’s lucid text describes their methods and findings in this chunk of land on the border between the Ukraine and Belarus. She has read their written reports and consulted scientists in the field to determine long-term effects on local wildlife after almost 30 years of exposure to varying doses of radioactivity. While some animals and plants appear to have been adversely affected, a large number of species seem to be coping relatively untouched. Even some former human residents (mostly elderly women) have returned to small hamlets and farms on the edge of the Zone, and poachers appear to be active in the area as well. (Other humans, massively exposed at the time of the explosion, have not fared so well.) The readable text is interspersed with dark red sidebars on such topics as how the researchers maintain safety in hot zones, the resistance of some plants to effects of long-term radiation, and reports of the damage suffered by human evacuees from the contaminated zone. Small color photos and maps provide visual evidence and geographical information. A final chapter reports on the tsunami-driven nuclear failure in the 2011 Fukushima disaster and ponders the future for similar “accidents.” Thought-provoking.—Patricia Manning, formerly at Eastchester Public Library, NY

Book Details

ISBN

9781467711548

First Release

February 2015

Genre

Nonfic

Dewey Classification

590.9477/8

Trim Size

7" x 10"

Page Count

64

Accelerated Reader

Level 8.2; Points: 2;

Scholastic Reading Counts

N/A

Lexile

Level 1190L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Library edition

Publisher

Twenty-First Century

Potentially Sensitive Areas

None

Topics

Chernobyl nuclear accident, 1986, Ukraine, Radioecology, Nuclear meltdown, Japan, Genetic mutation, Animals, Animal behavior and characteristics,

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